Contrast the portrayal of the male character Jason Currie with the female character Hagar Shipley in Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel.  

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Stone Angel, Margaret Laurence draws Jason Currie and his daughter Hagar Shipley as surprisingly similar even though she rebells against him when she is a young woman by marrying Bramford Shipley, a man beneath her in position, manners, and abilities. Jason Currie's most prominent characteristic is that he is a stern disciplinarian who is distant and cold. He came from Scotland in a destitute state but over the years built up a prosperous general store in Manawaka, Canada for himself and his family.

Hagar Shipley's most prominent characteristic is summed up in her son's, Marvin's, description of her as being a "holy terror." She is herself a stern disciplinarian over her own two sons and takes every occasion to criticize and belittle thos who don't live up to what holds as standards, like her ability to speak well, which may seem petty but perhaps to hagar, who marry poorly and cut off all her options for betterment in life, it represents her unfulfilled and unrealized inner being and dreams.

Laurence seems to be indicating that male and female characters have essentially the same strengths, weakness, and problems even though some more stereotypical characters show gender-stereotyped weakness and problems, as in Doris Shipley who only protests the burden of carrying for Hagar in subtle, tactful terms.

Read the study guide:
The Stone Angel

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question